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Jun 7, 2018

CitCo Wants Civic for Emergency Operations Base

While logistical preparations are ongoing, if the Emergency Operations Center needs to be activated, at present moment it has no base. In recent years, the City Council has used a number of different locations including the Charles Bartlett Hyde Building, but they must now find a new base for operations and CEMO has its eyes on the Civic Center.  But that has still not been officially confirmed and according to Mayor Wagner, there seems to be a slight delay which he suggested had the trappings of political move. CEMO Councilor Michael Noralez, however, is confident that it will soon enough be confirmed.

 

Bernard Wagner

Bernard Wagner, Chairman, EOC

“We are still facing challenges there obviously. We met with the NEMO Coordinator and he had indicated to us that if CEMO request that we use the Belize Civic Center, so it will be. So, yesterday, I forwarded a letter to address that matter. We have had some challenges there. First we were kicked out of the Charles Bartlett Building and then sent to ITVET – which after inspection we found that it was not worthy. It could not stand any sort of hurricane damages. We were forwarded then to the Gateway Center but again the CEMO group felt that this did not meet our standards. So, we are aiming our efforts that the headquarters of the EOC be at the Civic Center. I hope that for the love of the City and the love of the residents that intelligence, again, will continue to prevail, that we look out for the residents of the City and we stop playing politics. We do have a couple areas that we have identified as a backup but we insist that the Belize Civic Center should serve the purpose of the City and serve the residents of the City. After all, it is a public facility and its is the public that will pay back for the Civic Center. So, we continue to press and I am hoping that the intelligence prevails.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Do you think that is the best option, in terms of serving the needs of CEMO, as the EOC?”

 

Bernard Wagner

“Yes because it could withstand up to a category five hurricane. It has all the amenities in there so we feel that it could serve the purpose; serve it well.”

 

Oscar Arnold

Oscar Arnold, Deputy Mayor, Belize City

“From our information, some of the security forces also use it as a staging area so we will have security personnel there, the police department, the BDF, so if that is already being used as a staging area then CEMO could piggyback on some of the resources that would already be available there.”

 

Michael Noralez

Michael Noralez, CEMO

“As a group we have toured the Civic Center. We have been there with the management, APEX, and one thing I liked that the manager told us, ‘this is a public building and in times of emergency, you need us, then you have it.’ Now it is only to put it on paper. We have talked with the managing committee, Ms Timrose was there with us and we have seen where we will be putting the nerve center of CEMO. We need a building like that where we will all be safe and secured like the Deputy said just now. So, basically, I could talk on behalf of the Mayor. It is a done deal – should be a done deal by tomorrow.”

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